Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) announced at a virtual town hall Tuesday that she plans to introduce a bill to extend the additional $300 in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) through early next year.
The Extend Unemployment Assistance Act of 2021 would amend the CARES Act, signed into law by former President Donald Trump in March 2020. The amendment would change the expiration date of the benefits from Sept. 6, 2021 to February 2, 2022, retroactively reimbursing unemployment recipients for the additional weeks of benefits.
I’ve been very disappointed on both sides of the aisle that we’ve just allowed pandemic unemployment assistance to completely lapse, when we are clearly not fully recovered from the cost effects of the pandemic.
Keep reading to learn more about the congresswoman's latest coronavirus aid bill, and see your options if you need cash to tide you over in the meantime if regular unemployment benefits aren't sufficient. There are several options for borrowing money if you need COVID-19 assistance, including personal loans, cash-out mortgage refinancing and student loan refinancing.
You can compare a variety of financial products on Credible's online marketplace to ensure you're getting the lowest interest rate possible for your situation.
Will pandemic unemployment be extended?
It's uncertain whether the Democratic congresswoman's latest bill extending additional UI benefits will pass through Congress.
But with pushback from GOP lawmakers who blame the extended benefits program for disincentivizing people from returning to work during the public health emergency, the bill is likely to face hurdles. Ocasio-Cortez seems to be aware of that, adding that she "simply could not allow this to happen without at least trying."
Nearly half the states already ended the supplemental pandemic unemployment insurance in June 2021. Recent research by University of Toronto economist Michael Stepner found that these 22 states saw employment increase by 4.4 percentage points, but the decrease in unemployment recipiency led to a significant decline in consumer spending.
Who pays for unemployment benefits?
The Department of Labor (DOL) collects taxes from employers, which funds the unemployment insurance program, according to the Center on Budget Policies and Priorities (CBPP). The federal government passes on the funds to the states, and the states oversee the disbursement of unemployment benefits.
3 options for fast cash if you need money now
Although the unemployment rate is near its lowest point since the pandemic began in March 2020, jobless claims edged up last week, according to the DOL. Without additional unemployment benefits, some Americans may be looking for ways to pay for living expenses. Here are a few ways to achieve economic security and how to borrow money judiciously.
1. Take out an unsecured personal loan
Personal loans offer a lump sum of cash that you repay in fixed monthly payments over a set period of time, typically a few years. They're generally unsecured, meaning they don't require collateral, so lenders determine eligibility based on borrowers' creditworthiness.
Personal loan interest rates vary based on several factors, such as the borrower's credit score, the loan duration, and the loan amount. Borrowers with an excellent credit score will qualify for the lowest interest rates available.
Personal loans can be a wise alternative to taking on revolving credit card debt thanks to lower, fixed interest rates. The average interest rate on a two-year personal loan was 9.58% in Q2 2021, compared to an average credit card interest rate of 16.30% on all accounts assessed interest, according to the Federal Reserve.
If you decide to borrow a personal loan, be sure to compare interest rates across multiple lenders to ensure you're getting the lowest possible rate for your situation. You can compare personal loan rates without impacting your credit score on Credible, so you can know you're getting a good deal before you apply.
2. Tap into your home equity with a cash-out mortgage refinance
Home equity is at an all-time high, which means many homeowners may owe much less on their mortgage than what their home is worth. If you're a homeowner, you may be able to tap into that equity with cash-out refinancing.
Cash-out mortgage refinancing is when you take out a new, larger mortgage to repay your current mortgage, pocketing the difference in a lump sum of cash. Since mortgage refinance rates are still near historic lows, it may be a good time to secure a lower mortgage rate while accessing your home's equity.
Homeowners often use a cash-out mortgage refinance to make home upgrades and pay off debt, but you can use the money as you see fit.
Get started on your mortgage refinance by comparing offers on Credible. You can get pre-qualified through multiple mortgage lenders for free in just minutes.
3. Lower your monthly student loan payments by refinancing
Student loan refinancing is a popular way for college graduates to secure a lower interest rate on their student loan debt. You may be able to lower your monthly payments, get out of debt faster, and even save money in interest over time.
Well-qualified borrowers who refinanced to a longer-term loan on Credible were able to save more than $250 on their monthly student loan payments on average, all without increasing the overall cost of borrowing. See if student loan refinancing is right for you using this calculator from Credible.
It's important to note that refinancing your federal student loans into a private loan will make you ineligible for federal protections like income-driven repayment plans, administrative forbearance, and student loan forgiveness programs. If you have private student loans, though, you have nothing to lose by refinancing to a lower rate.
Lock in a lower student loan rate by shopping around on Credible. You can compare multiple private lenders at once and choose the offer that's best for you.
DEMOCRATS WANT FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS PAUSED UNTIL MARCH 2022
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